My RH factor is 150, and I was told a few years ago that I may have Lyme Disease. Since only two bands are positive for Lyme Disease (I had the ELISA and Western Blot), the docs I have been to can't agree whether I have Lyme. I did have the bulls eye rash and did work in a backyard where deer have been spotted. A dermatologist told me the rash wasn't Lyme. I had antibiotic treatment, but there was no change in how I feel.
Anyway, I was wondering if Lyme could cause the RH Factor to be elevated. I don't want to start a regimen of Rheumatoid arthritis drugs if the RH factor is due to Lyme. I was wondering if anyone with Lyme has falsely tested positive for rheumatoid arthritis.
I found the answer to my question through research and wanted to post it to help others. Rheumatoid arthritis IS connected to Lyme disease, as a matter of fact when Lyme disease first showed up in Lyme, Conn. the red flag was several children in the area came down with rheumatoid arthritis and what triggered it was Lyme disease.
Hi Jacal, Lyme is a real tricky bacteria. It doesn't like oxygen so imajority of the time hides in tissue, organs, muscle, bone...it is "very" hard to detect in the blood stream. Alot of people don't get positives on their test. Testing for lyme just is NOT accurate. You had the bulls eye rash, two bands, and now have symptoms. I would say in my own opinion that you have lyme. If you still break out in the rash you will need to take pictures of it. It will help when you go to a good doctor. You also need to be tested for the co-infections ..Ticks carry many kinds of bacterias/virus's.
Majority of doctors do NOT treat patients with long enough antibiotic treatment. The standard treatment of 200 mg a day for 3 weeks just is not enough. The Lyme bacteria has I believe 3 stages of life. It can create a cell around it self. So you need more than one antibiotic at a time to help rid these little buggers.
And you will find that Majority of doctors dismiss the problem and say you have other things going on instead...such as arthritis...and give you uncessary drugs...
Might I suggest you go to what they call a Lyme Literat Medical Doctor. Who is a specialist in diagnosing Lyme from symptoms and not solely on a test. Some people have no bands at all pull up and still have Lyme. So if you have two you will need to see a doctor that know what they are doing. This disease should not be negelected. Do you know that it is in the sphyllis family??
I hope you can find someone to help you soon.
You may want to look at the top of this board under the Doctor and Clinics Thread and you might find a doctor in your area. Alot of people have to travel to see a doctor. If you don't see one there you might want to start a new thread asking for a doctor recommendation.
I actually don't have it, it's my 78 yr. old neighbor of 51 years, I let him type in the question about the RH factor/Lyme under my screen name because I was busy.
He has been to a top Lyme expert in the country, as a matter of fact, I drove him to the office because I researched the doctor myself. He tested positive for two bands and went the standard oral antibiotic route, he wasn't IV transfused. Then he read that antibiotic treatment after Lyme has been present for so long is useless so he stopped going to the doctor because he didn't feel better after the treatment.
Now he is facing taking drugs for rheumatoid arthritis because his RH factor is 150. I don't know if he gets retreated for Lyme if the RH factor would go away, or if he needs to be treated for rheumatoid arthritis now. He went to a rheumatologist who said he would need to research his case, it doesn't sound like this doc knows too much about the link between RA and Lyme.
Your most conclusive answer is to first get a comprehensive testing by IGenex.
I am living abroad, and I NEVER had any symptoms of RA until about a year ago.
I had a standard Lyme test done here, yet only one band came out positive, and the Infectious Disease center, with all my horrible joint problems said we can't treat you. One band is not enough.
My RF factor fluctuates. I am not positive for Lyme YET, and I am getting my test out this week.
I called Igenex because there's really no LLMD here. They will send you a test kit, the test does cost money yet (a price less then an overseas vacation).There's no substitute for a our wellbeing, so I would suggest your neighbour get test.
Find another doctor. Ask around on this board, start a new thread "seeking for doctor in area XYZ"
There is an obvious link between RA/RH and Lyme. Most people will have the knee pain first, then throughout the body much later.
Thanks for your response and the info regarding your fluctuating RH factor, I told my neighbor. My neighbor has such bad knee pain he can hardly walk, and he is fatigued all the time, and complains of muscle weakness.
We have the same problem with the bands in our area, there was a big protest by Lyme patients a while back when it was decided that two bands or less wasn't considered Lyme, so that meant the patients wouldn't be treated because the insurers wouldn't pay. I don't know what the outcome was.
Regarding the test that you are paying for, is it a more sophisticated Western Blot and Elisa test, or completely different tests?
Igenex also tests for co-infections. Bacterial names I have never even heard of, and there are several. Also there are different strains of the bacteria , so depending on the history of were your neighbour resides and where they may have resided in the past, Igenex tests for the specific strains in the different regions.
Also they have a wider range of band testing. For an instance, here, with my first test, I could only be tested for bands 1-49.
I am not sure exactly how many more bands Igenex tests for yet I believe its 1-59, somewhere in those range.
I spoke with a Dr. on the tele at Igenex and they told me that they also test for later stages lyme response in the body and that their testing is much more "sensitive" then the average conventional lyme testing...
I would encourage your neighbour to be diligent in finding a second opinion and even to have a test done by Igenex.
Thanks for all the info, my neighbor has been to three docs already, one dermatologist who told him the bulls eye rash was not lyme disease and that delayed treatment, an infectious disease specialist who told him since he had two bands he didn't have lyme, and a third doctor who specializes in lyme who said he probably does have it and treated him with antibiotics for three months.
When my neighbor said he didn't feel better from the antibiotics, the lyme doc said in that case there was no reason to give him the IV drip.
no, he wasn't tested by ingenex. Now his rheumotologist tested him and told him he has antibodies for lyme, which means he had it at sometime, but he doesn't have it now, and he wants him to take drugs for rheumatoid arthritis.
My neighbor seems to believe this doc who says he doesn't have lyme.
No, he didn't have RA before he was diagnosed with lyme. He had a blood test a few weeks ago, and the RH factor was 150, that's how he found out. He has no other conditions except a little high blood pressure and takes a pill for it. He has taken vitamin and mineral supplements for years, so he was in good health. I think he may have had a touch of arthritis before the bulls eye rash showed up on his back, because he used to complain of stiffness in his hands, but his RH factor was normal back then.
It sounds like he's given up and wants to believe this doctor that he doesn't have lyme. His daughter doesn't agree with the doc about giving him RA drugs.
She thinks he should try natural methods first to cure the RA. I have done research on RA because my cousin was diagnosed with it last year, and I read that a strict diet without white refined sugar helps with the inflammation.
But again, my cousin who has RA (she's on Areva) had a dog who died from lyme disease, and her husband came down with Parkinson's disease and shakes so badly, even with medication. Could it be that my cousin and her husband both have lyme also from the ticks or fleas that were on the dog, and their conditions now manifested from lyme? I don't know if they have been tested for lyme, but even if they were, as you say, the tests aren't definitive because they weren't done by Igenex.
I understand what you are saying about being tested by Igenex, I just have to convince my neighbor to be tested by them.
I still don't understand something, if your lyme test comes back positive (I hope not), are you going to be treated for lyme and take RA drugs also, or just get treated for lyme and the RA will go away?
My RH factor is abnormal, yet not consider medically pathological. YET my RA is so bad sometimes I can't bend down, brush my teeth etc. Today its as if nothing is wrong, I am in perfect shape, yet tomorrow I may not be able to leave the house. My doctor said that since my RH factor is not high enough, she can't treat me, YET her and I decided to go the Lyme route first, then try to see what other methods of testing or eventually drugs will help me...
I some time shake bad that it feels like Parkinson's. I knew someone else that their dog had Lyme too. Its really a dangerous path to take this Lyme Disease lightly.
I read somewhere in the Lyme board that someone met a former fitness guru who had to have a pacemaker because of late stage Lyme.